Two British expats have launched themselves into the Spanish wine market on a mission to make Spanish wine more accessible for non-Spanish audiences. With their new online store – Simply Spanish Wine – Matthew Desoutter and Ben Giddings aim to demystify the world of wine and grapes and make it easier for people to choose and buy a bottle of wine that is right for them.
“Spain produces great quality wine at some really affordable prices,” explains Matthew, “but sometimes it can be hard to get your head around it all. There are loads of native grape varieties, and tricky terms like Denominación de Origen or maceración carbónica can make things very complicated. It can be hard to know where to start.
“Even when you go into a supermarket, you’re often faced with a wall of wine, but very little practical information to help you choose. You can look at the label, but unless you know what to expect from a certain grape, or how one area of the country differs from another, you can’t really make an informed choice.”
This is where their new website comes in. The Simply Spanish Wine online store offers a carefully curated list of wines for sale which represent the different styles and regions Spain has to offer, and which give wine lovers in Spain access to affordable, high-quality Spanish wines.
Basic understanding of Spanish wine
But it is also Spanish wine online learning resource. Through a series of articles, videos, interviews, and more, Simply Spanish Wine cuts through the clutter and gives people a basic understanding of Spanish wine so they can make better, more informed choices about what to buy.
“We decided to launch an online wine store and Facebook page that makes it easier to choose a great bottle of wine,” Ben explains. “We give people an overview of different grapes, we talk them through the characteristics of wine regions, and we explain a bit about winemaking techniques like barrel aging. But we try not to go over the top. We don’t want people to feel overwhelmed or talked down to. We want to keep it simple – hence the name.
Keeping it simple
“And instead of having a huge selection of mass-produced wines, we offer a focused range of more artisanal wines from family-run vineyards based on the learning resources we have on the site.”
Matthew first entered the wine world more than 30 years ago, working at Stephen Spurrier’s wonderful Les Caves de la Madeleine wine shop in Paris. He then headed south to Madrid where he spent twenty years at the British Embassy focused on agriculture, environment, and economic issues. There he developed a broad network of friends and contacts across the Spanish wine sector, as well as continuing to develop his love and knowledge of wine through study and regular interaction with Spanish wineries.
Ben has spent his career immersed in the world of websites, e-commerce, and communications. But he’s been passionate about wine since his 18th birthday when he was given a bottle of St Émilion as a present and began to realise wine could be much more than just a drink to go with Sunday lunch.
But it wasn’t until he arrived in Spain nearly 20 years ago that he discovered the enormous variety of styles that could be found within a bottle – and the exceptional value for money that Spanish wine represented. Since then, he has spent his free time travelling and tasting his way around Spain.
The two now hope that by sharing the knowledge they have accumulated over the years, they not only help people get a better understanding of the Spanish wine they’re buying, but they also help people feel more at home here.
“Five million foreign nationals are currently resident in Spain,” adds Matthew. “By explaining a bit more about Spain’s finest product, we hope we’re helping some of them to further integrate into the culture and feel like they have more of a foothold in this amazing country.”
To find out more about the resources on offer and sample some of Simply Spanish Wine’s fantastic wines, you can visit online at www.simplyspanishwine.com or follow the Facebook page at www.facebook.com/simplyspanishwine.
The Simply Spanish Wine introductory video can be found here:
Additional videos available on the Simply Spanish Wine YouTube channel